Tubing Mount Seymour

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I used to live a five minute drive from a massive park, which then managed to burn down [ck], but even then it was a great place to ride a toboggan. In an attempt to capture that rural past time of hurtling down a hill at high speeds, the girlfriend and I looked up sledding opportunities in the Vancouver area. Both Mount Seymour [ms] and Cypress Mountain [cm] offer tube rides. The Cypress website made it look more appealing, but they had a notice that their tow lift was not operating yesterday, so we settled on Mount Seymour.

The drive up to Mt. Seymour is short enough as long as you don’t hit Lions’ Gate Bridge traffic. It was a bit surprising as the snow piles up the further up the hill we got, living downtown I had begun to forget that more than six inches of snow can exist in one place.

The area set aside for tubing is divided into four tubing lanes, and one lane for the tow rope back up the hill. Unlike sledding in the wild the snow is not the fresh powder of so many ski hill promo shots, but rather hard packed ice. That’s good if all you’re looking for is speed, but not so good if you’re trying to walk around in boots that are not exactly designed for traction on compacted snow. Yes, if like me you wear impractical city boots then walking down to the starting gates can be an issue.

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As I said the packed snow is good for speed, but not so good for not ending the day black and blue. If you’re a small child it’s not going to be much of an issue, but the slightly less limber of us are going to get bashed about. Going down headfirst the only way to slow the tube was to dig my toes into the packed snow, which when going over a bump kept slamming my knees into the hard ground. After a few runs the experience began to get tiresome, and I gave up well before the alloted two hours were over.

If I try snow tubing again I’ll give it a go at Cypress, where they allow people to ride down the hill on their back and where the ride looks a little longer and a little slower. Or I’ll grab my toboggan the next time I’m in Kelowna and enjoy some virgin powder in real nature.

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